Session Summary: Looking Back and Looking Forward

6:08 pm in plenaries by kirsty-pitkin

In his final closing comments to the workshop, Brian Kelly summarised the topics covered throughout the event within the context of the workshop theme “The Web In Turbulent Times”. He outlined how the programme had tried to cover a range of things, including the bigger economic picture affecting the sector, the opportunities for innovation that still exist, and some of the practical things that web teams are doing now that could inspire everyone else.

Brian invited various people to speak to provide their perspectives on this issues raised. Owen Stephens picked up on some of the issues raised by Chris Sexton in her opening plenary and by Patrick Lauke in his plenary about HTML5, Dave Stanley summarised his parallel session about the “Sheffield Made Us” campaign, and Mike Ellis announced the results of the QR code game, which had involved delegates finding and scanning QR codes hidden around the conference venue, then answering multiple choice questions.

Brian then demonstrated some of the innovative tools we have been using to analyse and increase the impact of IWMW. These included our use of Twapperkeeper, upon which Andy Powell has developed Summarizr, geotagging of tweets and the use of Linked Data. He demonstrated that the 14 years of data about IWMW locations, speakers, presentations, attendees and represented institutions, all linked to Dbpedia, can be used to answer questions about dissemination and impact of the event by showing patterns that could lead to new insights into the factors affecting conference attendance and impact.

To emphasise the need for the impact of an event to be sustainable, Brian restated his argument from previous years about the need for web teams to be blogging to create shared resources to help both themselves and the community. He has set up to draw together these blogs, but noted that there is still a long way to go, with few web teams blogging to draw attention to what they do.

To conclude, Brian drew our attention to the share press release for the event, which anyone can edit and contribute to here. He emphasised that the future is still uncertain, so they will be exploring the future of the IWMW event and potential sources of additional sponsorship as the whole sector rides out these turbulent times.

Throughout Brian’s talk, we premiered Twitter Bingo – a new version of Buzzword Bingo created by Richard Pitkin. Delegates were asked to tweet as normal using the event hash tag, but if their tweet included one of the secret buzzwords, a square would light up and play an accompanying sound effect to alert everyone. This became quite competitive towards the end, with a bidding war between two sponsors offering a prize for the winner, who tweeted the final buzzword. As well as being a bit of fun, Brian emphasised that this provided an example not only of rapid development (the game was developed from scratch within 2 days), but also an example of how technology can be used to enhance collaborative learning. The buzzwords his talk generated were: rapper, mobile, twitter, value, elephant, cuts, linked, sharepoint, remote, web, network, social, HTML5, innovation, beer and economic.